Why race and sexuality are seen as the foremost drivers for foreign policy and perhaps everything else from a postmodern angle stems from Foucault’s contention that people project the notion that whiteness is both desirable and superior compared to everything else. Foucault, in “The History of Sexuality, Volume Two,” wrote that “in order to understand how the modern individual could experience himself as a subject of a ‘sexuality,’ it was essential first to determine how, for centuries, Western man had been brought to recognize himself as a subject of desire.” But for one, the massive disparities in terms of both the culinary cultures and histories between the Western world on one hand and Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia on the other hand would suggest otherwise.
Moreover, the notion of what constitutes reality is far more expansive amongst people of color. It is futile for countries like China to continue flattering the West through imitation. Nothing will change the fact that cultural and tribal differences between men shape identities, and in the end, identities cannot be exchanged or mimicked. There is no authentic way for non-Western peoples to become “Western,” regardless of the propaganda. Also, “progress” does not equate to being “Western.”
Moreover, Western foreign policy and propaganda – under the guise of freedom and democracy promotion – actually promotes chaos, disorder, hedonism, and selfishness in collectivist societies with deeply rooted cultures where the main priority is simply to attain the essentials in life such as food, clothing, shelter, and the ability to worship one’s God in peace. Foucault has also stated that although notions of kindness, goodness, human essence, and so on have developed in Western civilization, we cannot extrapolate these things from the history of the West. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the West has borrowed these notions and ideals from Eastern civilizations beginning in the epoch of the Pre-Socratic philosophers.
Overall, the drivers for Western foreign policy and propaganda consist of the buoying of race and sexuality on one hand, as well as the pursuit of hegemony and fear of foreigners on the other hand. One must also concede, however, that power and fear is paralleled with a level of attraction and fascination towards alien peoples and cultures. Nevertheless, there is a significant degree of osmosis between the modern and postmodern drivers for Western cognitive behavior when considering the death of liberalism in an age of global expansionism.
The philosophical and spiritual underpinnings of a truly liberal system are faith, hope, and progress, but as Noam Chomsky has argued, hope is often the first victim of an imperial project which concentrates power and wealth in the hands of only a handful of individuals. Chomsky wrote: “Destroying hope is a critically important project. And when it is achieved, formal democracy is allowed – even preferred, if only for public-relations purposes.”
Liberalism also consists of the viability of capitalism and individual rights as a global economic and social system in addition to the legitimization of the free pursuit of ultimate truths. But there is evidence to suggest that capitalism and individualism – which have long been sacrosanct in Western culture – are in a certain degree of peril due to extractive institutions such as capital conglomerates, government organs, and technological firms. Sir Paul Collier, a British economist who has been critical of the capitalist system to a certain degree, has said: “Capitalism’s core credential of steadily rising living standards for all has been tarnished: it has continued to deliver for some, but has passed others by.” Constitutionalism — which is another pillar of liberalism — was also in a certain degree of peril during the Trump Administration.
Socioeconomic and sociopolitical conditions are thus being determined in America and the Western world at-large by incorrigible class divisions – namely, between the haves and the have-nots – and as Foucault has argued, notions of equality and justice would not be pertinent if these class divisions would somehow cease to exist. There are also biblical allusions to the prevailing cognitive behavior of our times. As stated in Jude, 1:18-20:
“In the last days there will always be mockers, motivated by their own ungodly desires. These people cause divisions and are followers of their own natural instincts, devoid of the life of the Spirit. But you, my delightfully loved friends, constantly and progressively build yourselves up on the foundation of your most holy faith by praying every moment in the Spirit.”
Nevertheless, there is an awakening in the face of today’s pseudo-liberalism and pseudo-democracy that pervades all the different dimensions of postmodern thought, regardless of whether the dimension is of a Marxist, populist, romantic, or religious nature. All that is necessary is a leader who can string the different dimensions together in order to affect true change and progress.
History has shown that a number of transgressions have been committed in the name of power, fear, race, and sexuality, which in turn have led to calls for accountability and justice by those affected. But if accountability and justice equate to order and peace, the question is: how can accountability and justice be achieved? Ultimately, accountability and justice derive from power, which in turn is vested in only one individual due to the loss of credibility and legitimacy on the part of the state. As Hegel said: “The essence of the state is the universal, self-originated, and self-developed – the reasonable spirit of the will; but, as self-knowing and self-actualizing, sheer subjectivity, and – as an actuality – one individual.”
Thus, only one person is now vested with the power to bring equity and justice for all people, which in turn would aid in the establishment of global order and peace. Although this may not be within the bounds of what we consider to be reason, nothing can fully suggest that the truth is within the bounds of what we consider to be reason or what is “reasonable” per se. Arguably, the key which unlocks progress for both civilizations and individuals is perhaps self-criticism. Travelling far and wide and observing things abroad ultimately brings us full circle to the problems which we have not solved locally. Thus, what we are seeking – namely, order and eternal peace – ultimately has to be fostered from within.